International Journal of Library Science

p-ISSN: 2168-488X    e-ISSN: 2168-4901

2017;  6(3): 58-67



Approaches to Innovation and Transformation in Library and Information Science Education (Lise) in Nigeria

Akwang Nse Emmanuel

Library Department, Akwa Ibom State University, Obio Akpa Campus, Oruk Anam L.G.A., Nigeria

Correspondence to: Akwang Nse Emmanuel, Library Department, Akwa Ibom State University, Obio Akpa Campus, Oruk Anam L.G.A., Nigeria.


Copyright © 2017 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).


This paper discusses the concepts of innovation and transformation in relation to Library and Information Science Education (LISE). It also presents an overview of the history and current status of LISE in Nigeria. Different approaches to be adopted by LIS schools to ensure innovations and transformation in the training of information professionals are discussed. The paper reveals some challenges associated with LISE in Nigeria. These include lack of autonomy, lack of collaboration among LIS schools and other relevant departments. Others are inadequate and incompetent LIS teachers, and differences in LIS programme structure. It is advocated that the philosophy, goals and objectives of the programme; curriculum adopted and adapted; teaching methodology, state of infrastructural facilities are the cardinal points driving innovation and transformation in the profession. In conclusion, the paper notes that LIS schools in Nigeria and everywhere need to adopt relevant innovation and transformation approaches to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and competences needed to function effectively in any information environment. This paper recommends among others, the standardization of LIS curriculum, provision of technology-driven facilities, training and re-training of LIS teachers.

Keywords: Innovation, Transformation, LIS education

Cite this paper: Akwang Nse Emmanuel, Approaches to Innovation and Transformation in Library and Information Science Education (Lise) in Nigeria, International Journal of Library Science, Vol. 6 No. 3, 2017, pp. 58-67. doi: 10.5923/j.library.20170603.03.

1. Introduction

To all intents and purposes, Library and Information Science Education (LISE) is meant to produce information professionals who are able to provide quality leadership and adapt to technological change in an information based environment. With the emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the information services activities have changed. In other words, the new and emerging technologies have significantly influenced the way and manner information is acquired, organized, preserved, repackaged, disseminated, and delivered. Therefore, LISE is expected to train individuals to be relevant, dynamic, services oriented and responsive to the gradual and drastic changes taking place in information sector globally. By implication, the more there is continued change in information sector, the expectations of the society, information users’ needs and behaviours also change. Consequently, the need for innovation and transformation in LIS education is a sine qua non.
Innovation has to do with introducing new ideas, knowledge, skills, and techniques to create a needed change for efficiency and dexterity in services delivery. Transformation, on the other hand, connotes a total change in the entire process of educating and training of individuals.
Through innovation and transformation, proper work attitude could be developed alongside new strategies for quality library operations. These concepts are mostly used in education to connote revolutionary strategy which permeates generation of ideas that are both novel and valuable to enhance the teaching and learning process. According to Mohammed (2013), several issues concerning LISE need to be upheld, sustained, introduced and even discarded, modified and maintained, constructed and reconstructed to support the changing milieu of the information system. Such issues include variations in the philosophy, nomenclature, curriculum contents, teaching methodologies, students’ learning and work experience. The level of ICT literacy of teachers and students and type of infrastructural facilities need to be taken into consideration in the training of visionary information professionals.

2. Innovation and Transformation: Conceptual Framework

Innovation and transformation are concepts that cannot be avoided when quality LIS education is to be achieved. Innovation is derived from the Latin word innovare which means to renew or alter. Hornby (2011) defines innovation as the alteration of what is established by the introduction of new elements or forms to make something better than before. It refers to the ability to apply new ideas or individual initiatives, imaginations, intuitions, and insights to enhance the quality of products or services (Anyanwu, 2010). That means, innovation in LIS education involves the application of new ideas, knowledge, and skills to the entire teaching and learning process in order to enhance the activities of information generation, organization, dissemination and delivery of new ideas besides the old known ones.
Transformation, on the other hand, refers to the process of changing things totally. The concept could be seen as the ability to produce ideas that are capable of changing the major elements of existence. Transformation is a manifest of insights which borne out of creation of new things by means of experience, interpretation, and even evaluation of challenges encountered in the past. Transformation is the product of hard mental exercise which involves going beyond the usual situations and carrying out gradual alterations and refinements over a period of time in order to discover a better, improved, and readily accepted ways of doing things. As noted by Rao (2012), transformation could be likened to creativity which simply means the ability to imagine or invent something, better still, generate new ideas by combining, changing, or reapplying existing ideas. Transformation of LIS education involves the generation of new methods, strategies, techniques, processes, and ways to change a wide array of issues related to the education of information professionals.
Innovation and transformation are often applied interchangeably by many scholars but they are not totally the same. Innovation implies the modification and improvement of existing products, services, and process. Whereas transformation suggests the strategies or conditions capable of changing things related to products, services, and process. The concepts, though not restricted to librarianship and the training of information professionals, are beneficial for sustainable development in information sector. The feasible attributes could help LIS schools to overcome possible present and future challenges which they may encounter in the process of information generation, organization, re-packaging, dissemination, and delivery. Innovation and transformation in LIS education implies alteration or partial adjustment in the programme philosophy, goals, and objectives; course contents; course materials; delivery strategies; learning environments; and evaluative techniques.

3. General Overview of LIS as Academic Discipline

Librarianship as a profession has witnessed transition and change mostly due to shift in the information needs of the society as well as the pervasive technological influences. The situation necessitated the amalgamation of library science and information science which resulted in a field of knowledge known as Library and Information Science (LIS). Although, some institutions are still adopting Library Science and some Information Science but most institutions in Nigeria chose Library and Information Science over the others. The choice of the name is entirely the host institutions’ decision and this becomes a challenging factor to library schools and the profession in particular.
Basically, library science has a relationship with archival science even though there is a conceptual distinction between libraries and archives in terms of collection, management, and services. However, library science is an interdisciplinary social science that is concerned with the collection, organization, and dissemination of information resources, and the political economy of information. Information science, on the other hand, is a multidisciplinary science primarily concerned with the collection, classification, re-packaging, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information. Information science studies the application and usage of knowledge in organizations and information systems. The integration of library science and information science is quite necessary in order to reinvent or redefine professional values, skills, and competences needed to accommodate emerging trends in all information related fields.
LISis an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary academic discipline primarily designed to prepare students for careers in information professions. Information professions include database design, librarianship (library science), information management, archival studies, information science, records management, and information policy analysis. LIS encompasses information and knowledge creation, communication, identification, selection, acquisition, organization and description, storage and retrieval, preservation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, dissemination and management. The programme is meant to provide students the opportunity to develop the right attitudes associated with progressive information services, and to develop an understanding of the value, role, and appreciation of modern technology as it relates to library operations and the transfer of information (Cossette, 2009). More succinctly, it may be said that the field is concerned with information (print and non-print) and knowledge, services and technologies to facilitate its management and use.
LIS brings together and uses theories, principles, techniques, and technologies of a variety of disciplines towards providing solutions to problems related to information professions. The disciplines brought together in this amalgam, according to Smith in Akwang (2013), are computer science, management, psychology, economics, information technology, communication, mathematics, marketing, education, among other related fields. Today, the courses content for LIS is developed along these disciplines. As noted by Mabawonku (2011), the curriculum structure for LIS in Nigeria concentrates on major areas like collection development, management principles, information and communication technology, information organization, economic and marketing of information, publishing and book trade, research methods, general studies, current issues and trends in information practice, etc.
It must be acknowledged that LIS requires these broad areas of concern because of its focus on different categories of users with different subject backgrounds and the nature of the profession. Robbins (1998) believes that the multidisciplinary status of LIS programme derives from the assumption that there is need to train information professionals who must:
i. understand holistically the information available to them and the users of such information to be able link the right information to the right user.
ii. commit themselves to the organization and preservation of information.
iii. lead in hybrid environments that feature both print and digital technologies.
iv. transform the organization’s processes, products, and services with the aid of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

4. Brief History of LISE in Nigeria

The education in librarianship had its debut in Nigeria in 1940s when the practicing librarians (mostly non-Nigerians) decided to locally organize short courses for candidates who were preparing for the British Library Association Examinations. In 1950s, the library staff at the then University College, Ibadan (now University of Ibadan) and British Council Libraries developed a scheme which aimed at preparing various categories of library staff from different parts of Nigeria for the same professional examination. Few years later, Miss Joan Parker (later Mrs. Allen) who was the Regional Librarian in Northern region initiated in-service training for staff in the Native Authority Library to equip them with the required skills and competences in librarianship. Thereafter, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organized the first seminar on the development of public libraries in Africa at the University College, Ibadan. At the seminar, the decision to establish standard library schools in Africa was taken to train leaders for the profession who will assume full responsibility for effective operation of library services in all types of libraries in Africa as well as conduct in-service training of other library staff (Ugocha, 2011). It was also recommended at the seminar that the West Africa Library Association (WALA) should be formed.
After the inauguration of WALA in 1954, the association appealed to the Carnegie Corporations for funds to facilitate the establishment of library training center for West Africa. In 1957, the association mandated Dr. Harold Lancour to survey the library conditions and provide background information which could serve as basis for library development in West Africa. Dr. Lancour’s report was accepted by WALA and presented to Carnegie Corporation. The corporation offered a grant of $88,000 for the establishment of library school in University College, Ibadan. The school started in October 1959 as Institute of Librarianship with Mr. John Harris as pioneer Director. The institute which followed the British Library Association curriculum started with six students at the post graduate level only. In 1963 and 1964, the curriculum was changed because of its foreign content and entry level. This led to the development of a new curriculum tailored to meet needs and that was facilitated with another grant of $112,000 from Carnegie Corporation.
The institute became an indigenous library school to prepare students for the award of Certificate and later Diploma in Librarianship. In 1965, the institute had graduated 52 qualified librarians. The institute became the Department of Library Studies in 1971 and later changed to the Department of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. The second library school was established in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria which introduced a four-year bachelor degree programme in Library Studies (BLS) and later a two-year diploma programme for the training of para-professionals. Today, LISE in Nigeria is gaining grounds as a number of library schools have been established in Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education mostly in the Western and Northern and Eastern parts of the country.

5. Current Status of LIS Education in Nigeria

Although, LISE started in Nigeria in the 40s and was given serious consideration in the 50s, the development of library schools has not been encouraging. In assertion, Okiy (2014) notes that LISE seems not to gain prominence in Nigeria compared to other disciplines. The author posits that LIS as a professional course is offered in private, state, and federal universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education at various levels but its acceptance is fairly slow. However, its growth has extended to many higher institutions predominantly in the Western, Northern, and Eastern parts of Nigeria but definitely not in the Southern part.
LISE in universities is being run at different levels for varieties of certification, ranging from Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor Degree, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters’ Degree, MPhil, and PhD. The programmes are offered on full time and part time basis in most universities in Nigeria. The minimum duration for the full time programmes is stipulated by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) and the relevant institutions. Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and MPhil take one full academic session (two semesters); Diploma, and Masters’ Degree demand two full academic sessions (four semesters); Bachelor Degree takes four full academic sessions (eight semesters); and PhD takes three full academic sessions (six semesters). Part time programmes at any level usually take longer duration as required by the institutions.
There are differences in the nomenclature of LIS programmes and even the certifications. According to Mohammed (2013), the differences depend mostly on the faculty or school where the programme is hosted. The author asserts that some universities award Bachelor of Library Science (BLS), others award Bachelor of Library and Information (BLIS), Bachelor of Science, Library Science or Library and Information Science (BSc LS or BSc LIS), Bachelor of Arts, Library Science or Library and Information Science with specialization in a given subject area in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities disciplines (BA LS/LIS), and Bachelor of Education with specialization in teacher librarianship (B.Ed. LS/LIS).
At postgraduate level, the nomenclature and certification also varies from PGD in Library Science, Master of Library Science (MLS), Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with specialization in Library Science, Information Science, Archives and Records Management, Book Trade and Publishing, Information Management, etc. LIS programmes at post-graduate diploma and masters’ levels in most Nigerian universities do not give prominence to specialization. The situation is disheartening as specialty, especially at such levels, is supposed to be regarded as a hallmark in any profession which provides detailed and appropriate body of knowledge needed for expertise in a peculiar subject area.
In other higher institutions like polytechnics and colleges of education, LISE is offered at two levels for certifications in either Library Science or Library and Information Science. In polytechnics, the teaching of librarianship takes place at National Diploma and Higher National Diploma levels. In other words, students studying Library Science (LS) or Library and Information Science would be awarded National Diploma or Higher National Diploma in LS or LIS upon graduation as the case may be. In Colleges of Education, the course is also offered at one or two levels depending on the institutions’ programme. Some Colleges of Education in Nigeria are degree awarding institutions while some award National Certificate of Education (NCE) which is equivalent to National Diploma. That means, LISE can be offered at NCE level or degree level in colleges of education with specialization in Library Science. In most cases, it is combined with other subjects like Integrated Science/Library Science, Mathematics/Library Science and so on.
Be that as it may, LISE in Nigeria has continued to make considerable progress over the years despite the challenges. Diso and Njoku (2013) and Okiy (2014) also note that as at 2013, twenty-five universities (state, federal, private) in Nigeria offer accredited LIS programmes at various levels. Aside universities, fourteen polytechnics (state, federal, private) and not fewer than five colleges of education in different parts of the country run accredited LIS programmes. Current statistics published by different higher institutions reveals an increase in LIS students’ enrolment as at 2016 admission year (Wikipedia, 2017). This is an indication that LISE is gradually gaining acceptance in the Nigerian society.

6. Approaches to Innovation and Transformation in LIS Education

Approaches are simply ways or strategies of reaching out for solutions or improvements. The issue of innovation and transformation in LISE is extremely important due to the increasing demand for dexterity in services delivery, application of Information and Communication Technology, and recent competition in the field to remain relevant in the global market. By and large, all areas in the LIS programme require innovation and transformation at one point or another. This is to ensure a robust output of qualitative information generation, organization, storage, dissemination, and re-packaging. This paper suggests the following approaches to be adopted in LIS schools in order to bring about the desired innovative and transformational changes in LISE.
Technological Approach
Technology remains the hub of innovation and transformation. With rapid advances in information technology and information and communication technologies, the teaching and learning process have changed drastically. A number of studies conducted on the effect of technologies on education reveals that the use of technologies has created a profound positive change in education system. This is to say that technologies have come to incorporate into the teaching and learning process, a blend of interactive capabilities including computer-mediated instruction to create innovation and transformation in education.
New technologies in form of software packages, hardware, and electronic communications could provide new, interesting, and rewarding learning methods and conducive environment for LISE. The use of projectors and public address system is extremely needed to enhance visual and audio quality especially when teaching large class size. LIS schools need at least a laboratory equipped with computer systems and Internet connectivity and sometimes with audio-active equipment. Besides, any Internet-aided environment offers people the opportunity to interact and discuss with other people of same information interest using facilities like Bulletin Board System (BBS), Telnet, Finger, Gopher, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Archie, etc.
When planning for technologically-based LIS education, the ICT literacy, the content of each course, the selection of delivery technology, and the supporting facilities available must be determined. It is obvious that the teaching staff, non-teaching staff and students need special knowledge and skills including techniques of using software and hardware, selection and assessment of course delivery models, ability to conduct information search as well ability to troubleshoot as need arises.
Management Approach
Management is simply defined as the ability to reorganize what needs to be done and making sure that it is done right, efficiently, and promptly (Ekanem, 2010). It is one of the most influential forces to innovation and transformation of any system. Management is a process of utilizing all the available resources (human, material, financial) within an organization in order to achieve the organizational goals and objectives. Indeed, the main goal of LISE is to train individuals that will be able to manage information environments effectively and efficiently. This entails being able to apply certain principles to information activities for desired results. Every LIS graduate is expected to perform management functions in a distinctive area (e.g. section, unit, division) within an information environment. It is expected of all information professionals to plan, organize, lead, and control effectively for the successful operation of day to day activities. That means, there must be a serious commitment to teach management-driven courses with the aim of exposing LIS students to the background of the subject vis à vis theories, principles, functions, leadership styles, etc.
Furthermore, it is essential that LIS schools have a written strategic plan that could guide decision making and that needs to be constantly revised and updated to accommodate inputs from alumni, students, teaching and non-teaching staff. The heads of LIS schools need to adopt aggressive and assertive approach to ensuring that the desired change in the education of information professionals is achieved. LIS schools need to apply innovative management principles to harness the products, process, and services or operations within the department and host institution. Although, the professional knowledge base of librarians or LIS educators is highly important in the transformation of LISE, obviously, management skills cannot be overemphasized in reaching targeted performance.
Partnership Approach
Partnership could be regarded as cooperation, collaboration, alliance, or network aimed at mutually beneficial outcome. Innovative and transformative ideas could be facilitated through borrowing a lift from other similar organizations. In other words, LIS schools in Nigeria could adopt partnership approach to bring about the desired innovation and transformation. Partnership, among LIS schools allows the possibilities to jointly tackling the problems and challenges of LISE that are common to them in order to achieve desired results. Johnson (2009) explains that partnership in LISE may be local, regional, or international. Local partnership could be the one existing among LIS schools within defined national boundaries while regional partnership exists among LIS schools within a particular region of the world. International partnership, on the other hand, exists among LIS schools across national boundaries. Be that as it may, partnership could be successful when the partners are able to;
• establish the possibility for the partnership before entering into it.
• understand the prospective partner’s capacity to sustain the partnership.
• recognize the existing political, economic, and social realities that may influence the partnership.
• define the areas of partnership.
• create trust in the partnership and develop mutual respect for one another.
• identify the key persons to spearhead the partnership.
LIS schools in Nigeria need to partner with other LIS schools within the country, in other developing countries and in the developed world to bring about innovation and transformation in many areas of LISE. The areas include teaching, research, curriculum development, knowledge sharing, students’ industrial training, oral examination, exchange programmes among others.
Ethical Approach
Ethics is concerned with the behaviour or conduct of individuals or group in the society. It is expected in any profession that there are established rules, principles, norms and values guiding the conduct of its members vis a vis the activities. This helps in determining what is morally right or wrong within the profession. Ethical considerations in LISE spread through the entire information cycle: selection, acquisition, organization, storage, preservation, dissemination, and delivery. At every stage of information cycle, there are widely accepted ethical codes guiding the involving activities to assure standard and quality of services. This does not necessarily mean that ethical codes should be the same globally. The reason, being that there are differences in information environments, policies, facilities, interest, perceptions, experiences, etc.
LIS schools need to critically assess the ethical issues arising from the information cycle within their environment and develop ethical codes alongside with the standards ones for effectiveness and efficiency. Thus, changes in information system brought by different technologies must be a guiding factor. As noted by Mabawonku (2011), the essence of ethical code is to resolve conflicting interests within the information cycle, and harmonize the interests of information providers with those of information users. Consequently, LIS schools in Nigeria need to include in their curriculum, course(s) that would not only equip the students with knowledge of best practices for the profession but also with the ability to educate the government, policy makers, and other stakeholders on the value of maintaining ethics in providing, accessing and using information for decision making, self and national developments.
Research Approach
Research could be defined as the process of investigating thoroughly, carefully and more exhaustively about issues in order to discover, interpret, and revise accepted knowledge in the light of new facts or ideas. In order words, research reveals new and sometimes better ways of handling situations in information environment. The ultimate success of LISE may be more dependent on the research outcomes. Through research appropriate information practice and educational techniques could be either developed or and deployed to create a clear-cut distinction between traditional and modern information experience.
LIS schools and their host institutions should, as a matter of necessity, fund viable research projects as well as encourage teaching staff and students to conduct research on current trends in information practices, teaching strategies and supporting facilities, educational technologies, etc. As noted by Akwang and Etim (2010), the NUC’s Central Research Funds Scheme (CRFS) in the Nigerian universities and other existing international research schemes facilitate quality individual and collaborative research exercise. The authors are also of the opinion that staff especially the teachers should be encouraged to conduct researches on current trends in library and information science. Such research outcomes should be presented and discussed publicly in different fora for awareness and implementation. Apart, LIS schools need to provide environment that supports quality research in terms of facilities and knowledge transfer. LIS students must be exposed to modern research practices resulting from the emerging technologies. However, the results of researches should be implemented to bring about innovations and transformation in LISE.
Entrepreneurship Approach
Entrepreneurship is all about business engagements which involve identifying opportunities that are potentially valuable in the sense that they can be exploited and can yield sustainable profits. This is in line with the view of Ojeifo (2013) that entrepreneurship is the willingness and ability of individuals to identify environmental changes and exploit investment opportunities to produce goods and services for public consumption. However, entrepreneurship is aimed at creating employment for one self and for others as well as adding value to professions.
Obviously, the entire world, especially the developing countries, is faced with economic challenges that span from economic recession, unemployment, poverty, dwindling job prospects, youth restiveness, among others. To salvage this situation, aggressive efforts should be taken to expose the different aspects of entrepreneurship to students in all disciplines including LIS. Entrepreneurship education, according to Nwokocha and Ogwo (2015), is a central pillar to economic and social development of the society. In other words, acquisition of entrepreneurial skills by LIS students remains the way out from the economic menace.
Consequently, it is crucial for LIS schools to introduce departmental courses that will quicken entrepreneurship spirit in the students. Although, core courses like indexing and abstracting, bibliography, technical services, etc are traditional courses geared towards equipping students with necessary skills to be self-employed after graduation. More of such courses should be incorporated into LIS curriculum to establish strong entrepreneurial culture among students. Also, quality infrastructural facilities need to be provided to facilitate adequate practical experience that could help students develop expertise in any chosen area.
Babalola, Abifarin, and Ahmed (2015) and Nwokocha and Chimah (2015) note that there are many entrepreneurial opportunities abound for information professionals especially in this technology age. Book publishing, book selling, information brokerage, consultancy services, database and website designing, information repackaging, marketing information facilities, data mining, project management, and a lotmore are investment opportunities to be explored by information professionals in order to become self-employed.
Education and Training Approach
This approach focuses on the education and training of teaching and non-teaching staff working in and for LIS schools. Education and training of staff is one of the most critical ingredients for improved organizational performance (Sivadas, 2012). Education is simply the process or art of imparting knowledge, skill, ability, and judgement on individuals to enable them function effectively. It aims at providing opportunities for individuals to develop and inculcate proper values and intellectual capability through a structured programme. Training, on the other hand, is a continuous assistance or coaching given to employees in order to make them have current knowledge of the job contents, scope, and relationship within the organization (Ohakwe, 2007). Training is usually applied mostly after recruitment, but in some organizations training of employees is done on a periodic basis.
Considering the technological advancement and changes in the teaching environment, process, and strategies, staff who are drivers of the change must receive some level of education and be continuously trained. Resis in Johnson (2012) affirmed that all activities of any institution are initiated and determined by the persons that make up the institution. That means, the available school plants, equipment, computer systems, and all other facilities are unproductive except for human efforts and directions. Therefore, staff need to be technically and socially competent to perform adequately on a given task or job.
LIS schools and other stakeholders should understand that no matter how carefully screened the employees were at the point of recruitment, there is a typical gap between what they know and what they should know. Any LIS school which desires to gain competitive edge, needs among other things, extensive and effective training of its teaching and non-teaching staff. In order to maintain a strong base of staff who are highly creative, efficient, foresighted, and adaptable to innovation and transformation in the desired subject area, the provision of facilities for staff education and training is paramount. Deserving teaching and non-teaching staff should be encouraged to develop themselves academically. That is, they should be encouraged to acquire higher qualifications. Also, there is need for staff to develop themselves professionally to be able to function more effectively and efficiently in the discharge of duties assigned to them.
According to Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU) (2011), the facilities put in place in academic institutions to facilitate staff education and training include study leave with or without pay; study fellowship; staff development award; in-service training; sponsorship to attend conferences, workshop, and seminars; externally sponsored study; part-time studies/day release; and short-term refresher courses. There is a continual need for short courses and in-house training for administrative and secretarial staff to increase their individual and organizational performance. It is believed that when all the staff in LIS school and other serving departments are adequately educated and trained, they will develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes to support innovation and transformation in LISE.

7. Challenges Associated with LISE in Nigeria

The present status of LISE in Nigeria is an indication that there are a lot of challenges facing the education of information professionals. Some of them as discussed below.
Lack of LIS School Autonomy
Every academic programme including LIS operates within the confines of a defined structure. The structure reveals the faculty where a particular programme is hosted. No doubt, the programme’s philosophy, goals, and contents should determine the faculty where it belongs but in the case of LIS, determining its faculty is a continuing challenge. It is observed that the determining factor for LIS domiciliation in Nigerian institutions is the policy of the parent institution. The parent institutions determine where LIS schools should be housed without considering the appropriateness. These schools are ironically located in Faculty of Education; Social Sciences; Management Sciences; Schools of Management; Schools of Information and Technology, etc.
The domiciliation demands total compliance with both the structure and curriculum of programmes run in such faculties and schools. This situation may not support the desired learning experiences for LIS students. Another dimension to the hick ups is in the nomenclature of certificates awarded to LIS students upon graduation. For instance, some institutions award BLS as first degree and MLS as master’s degree, others award BLIS and MLIS respectively for the same programme. This variation is evident in all levels of LIS programmes and this is disheartening to students and staff in the field as well as the society.
Ineffectiveness of Professional Association for LIS
The role of professional associations has been and continues to be very essential especially in this revolutionary process of librarianship and other information professions. Palmquist and Davis (1998) define professional associations as platforms required for professions to accomplish anything that will bring about self-identification and cultural authority and importance. In other words, professional associations are established to strengthen their professions for future by lobbying, controlling practice, certifying and accrediting educational programmes which produce new members into the profession. This primary goal places professional associations at the vortex of every development in their professions.
Presently, there are several national, regional, and international professional associations for LIS. The Nigerian Library Association (NLA), Nigerian Association of Library and Information Science Educators (NALISE), Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN), African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AFLIAI), International Federation of Library Association (IFLA) and many others supposed to shape LISE at local, regional, and international levels. Some of these associations have existed for decades without exerting the desired influence on the principal issues affecting LISE. Unlike other notable professional associations like Council for Registration of Engineers(COREN), Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), etc which have to some extent brought recognition and stability to their professions, LIS associations seem not to maintain professional control on issues like LIS course contents and domiciliation; employment and research interests of LIS graduates; verification of facilities and accreditation of LIS programmes; establishment of code of ethics; members welfare; among others.
Unstandardized LIS Curriculum
LISE, like other academic programmes, is guided by structured curriculum which outlines series of intended learning experiences to be provided and directed by educational institutions for desired goals. No doubt, LIS schools have published curriculum which outlines the statement of desired objectives, lists and description of courses at various levels, and sometimes series of useful teaching strategies. But as observed by Uhegbu and Unagha (2008) LIS curriculum continues to be plagued by improper standardization. The authors noticed inadequacy in the curriculum contents and regimentation, and students’ work experience programmes among others.
Akwang (2013) made similar observations, where the author noted that the content of LIS curriculum does not adequately cover opportunities for self-employment, and job competition in developed communities. Andrew (2005) also observed inadequacies in LIS curriculum. The author notes that the LIS curriculum contents used in most library schools in Nigeria do not adequately support the aim of LISE and perhaps national growth and development. It is observed that LIS curriculum used in many academic institutions in Nigeria has not been reviewed in the real sense of it over the years to capture the needs and expectations of the information society.
Diso and Njoku (2007) is concerned with the responsiveness of LIS educators towards curriculum reforms or review among other issues. The authors observed little or lack of agreement among those concerned on what courses should be taught and in what depth at every education level, what methodologies to adopt for a desired learning experience, and the competency in exit behaviour of LIS graduates. These basic curriculum issues need to be ascertained for proper training of information professionals who are capable to meet the present and future information needs of the society viz à viz innovation and transformation.
Inadequacy of Competent Staff
The issue of inadequate competent staff is one of the most serious dilemma facing LIS education at all levels. As noted by Adomi (2007) and Akwang (2013), the staff, especially the teachers who are supposed to interpret educational policies, apply principles and theories in real life situations as well as hold trust for the implementation of LIS curriculum are not available in good number. Dikwar (2008) reiterates that the main reason for inadequacy of quality teaching staff could be poor pay, bad conditions of service, and resultant drift of teachers to other professions.
It is observed that many LIS teachers tend to join politics for elected or appointed positions or serve at a higher capacity. As a result of this, the few available competent LIS educators are faced with so much teaching load which contributes to the decline in the level of LISE. When there are no adequate competent teachers in LIS school, the students are not trained and educated effectively and they are not exposed to innovations in the profession. Ayodeji (2002) corroborate that quality of teaching correlates highly with the level of students’ achievement. The author also notes that a competent LIS teacher is not only recognized on the basis of qualification but on the capability of retaining and expressing innate potentialities to create desired innovations and transformation in information professions.
Inadequacy of Teaching and Learning Facilities
LIS education like other academic programmes requires extensive use of quality facilities that support the process of teaching and learning. Suffice to say that no educational programme in any institution can thrive without quality teaching and learning facilities. LIS schools need standard size lecture halls with pitched floor, well-furnished staff offices with toilet facilities, libraries, and well equipped common room for students. Also, the availability of multimedia room, work rooms, laboratories, microphones and loudspeakers, projector screens, and other modern teaching and learning facilities could enhance instruction delivery. Evarista (2009) describes the state of teaching and learning facilities in Nigerian institutions as deplorable, noting that the facilities are either lacking or grossly inadequate.
It is a worrisome situation that most lecture halls in academic institutions do not accommodate all the students a time. LIS students are seen standing by the windows and doors outside receiving lectures prompting the lecturer to teach at the top voice for not less than one hour in the bid to catch the attention of the overwhelming number of students. The wretched situation does not only hamper teachers’ effectiveness but also leads to serious negative impact on teachers and students’ morale for innovation and creativity. This problem could be greatly attributed to a lot of factors like poor and epileptic funding of higher institutions, mismanagement of the available funds, lack of quality consciousness, poor maintenance culture, and misplacement of priority in government. However, LIS schools as a matter of exigency need to provide modern teaching and learning devices for practical groundings that could support innovation and transformation in information disciplines.
Poor Collaboration between LIS schools and Relevant Departments
One of the outstanding peculiarities of LISE is its multidisciplinary nature. It laisse with other relevant departments to make a difference in the discipline and profession. This link is obvious as the discipline trains information professionals to function effectively in a variety of information environments related to various academic disciplines. For this purpose, LIS schools do collaborate and cooperate with schools or departments of Information Technology, Computer Science, Management Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, etc. Again, LIS students are encouraged to take elective courses from these schools or departments within the host institution. So far, the experience is noted to be discouraging due to poor administrative arrangements.
Also, issues relating to LIS students who are offering elective courses in other departments are rarely treated with the same weight for direct students in such departments especially in the areas of time-table adjustment, submission of results, students’ guidance, among others. Perhaps, this could be attributed to the fact that LIS students are viewed as adjunct students whose academic affairs should not be given preference. Be that as it may, the poor collaboration between LIS schools and other department does not support the sense of shared purpose for innovation and transformation.

8. Summary and Conclusions

This paper presents a descriptive method of bringing about innovational and transformational changes in the Library and Information Science Education (LISE) in Nigeria. It defines the concepts of innovation and transformation and discusses their relevance to librarianship. The emphasis on innovation derives from the increasing awareness, use, and development of new ideas, knowledge, skills, and techniques in global value chain. Transformation is dictated by the need to keep abreast with changes in information sector and revolutionize LISE in Nigeria. Other considerations include the need to prepare information professionals that could build through quality services information users’ loyalty and patronage as well as stay competitive in labour market. In this regard, the paper identifies and expatiates on some approaches for bringing about desired innovation and transformation in Nigerian LISE. These include technology, management, partnership and collaboration among relevant stakeholders, research, education and training, and ethical approaches. Among the challenges identified are lack of standardized curriculum for specified degree, diploma, and certificate programmes, assailable role of Library Associations in enforcing standards compliance by LIS schools, host institutions, and other constituencies. The paper recommends that provision of topnotch facilities, re-designing of LIS curriculum, recruitment of competent staff should be given high priority.


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